Cancer complementary care

Cancer patients are turning to complementary medicine more and more. In one study in America, a surprising 80 per cent reported using some form of complementary medicine. Some 81 per cent took vitamins, 54 per cent took herbs and 30 per cent used relaxation therapy. The authors of the study advised that healthcare professionals should be educated about potential interactions with conventional cytotoxic therapy.

Grants for student nurses

The board of Adelaide Hospital Society has called on the Government to continue the maintenance grant for student nurses in 2002, at least until the new degree programme has resulted in sufficient nurses to meet the needs of the health services.

In previous years, an annual non-means-tested maintenance grant of £3,325 was paid to every student nurse. For the new four-year degree students who start in 2002, there will be no such grant.

Because they are undertaking a practice-based professional degree course, third-level student nurses do not have the same opportunities to earn money during long holidays.

It is now feared that many school leavers and mature students, whose family or personal financial means are low, will be unable to pursue careers in nursing.

The maintenance grant will continue for student nurses on the diploma programme until 2003.

Aim on the Web

The State-sponsored information centre on family law, mediation and counselling has just launched its new website, Its services include access to free legal aid and advice, marriage preparation courses and access throughout the country to family mediation for those who have already made the decision to separate. There is a drop-in information centre at 6 D'Olier Street, Dublin 2, open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday (01-6708363, e-mail

Bladder problems and sex

Lack of communication and emotional intimacy between couples when one of them has a bladder-control problem significantly reduces or stops sexual activity in the relationship, according to a new international survey. Twenty-five to 45 per cent of those interviewed said their sex lives had been affected by their bladder-control problems.

The survey was carried out in doctors' surgeries in Britain, Italy, Germany and Spain. Approximately one third of Irish people over 40 suffer from bladder-control problems. The two main types are overactive bladder (with a frequency of urination more than eight times in 24 hours) and stress incontinence (involuntary loss of urine).